fact or fiction ...

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Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
December 10, 2010, 00:55

hehe…..maybe I should write a book……lol

upon reflection the statement should be

I found a bigger God in not knowing

interestingly…….one of the messages I used to preach was “your God is too small”….little did i know how true that was for me.

Joined in 2006
December 10, 2010, 19:49

yes i am exactly there … that no matter what we say, believe, what statements of faith people declare, no matter what their doctrines are, nothing is large enough to encompass who and what God is all about

and for me that is very exciting, yet so difficult to share with christians, because as soon as you go beyond their fences you are evil/deceived/cultic

so this also limits my desire to mix with christians …

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
December 10, 2010, 20:17

Yes Tez, I know the feeling well.. sigh

At least now I’ve come to enjoy being a bit of a heretic in the eyes of others. But it’s often a lonely path.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2010
December 10, 2010, 21:02

Hi Ann Maree.

Funny, I was just coming on here to write a few questions about the bible and this was the first post I saw when I came on and was wondering if someone had asked questions about the bible on here. So here we are, I have just started reading the bible. I have a KJV bible given to me by my nan but could not understand any of it. I came acroos a good news bible at the library and it said on it good for anyone new to the bible and it is easier to read because it is written quite simply BUT from what I have read so far is that God is just full of hate, it seems that everything you do wrong you will be put to death. One line that I actually read in there in leviticus 18:23 said men are not to sleep with men, god hates it and they will be put to death.

I just cannot believe any of this is the truth from what I have read so far. I started to read the bible to be in fellow ship with the lord and learn more about where I am going and what I am supposed to be doing but all I have read mostly has preached hate but get told that God is a loving God. It seems like there are so many different bibles and I don’t understand what to believe in now to be honest. Not only do I have a problem with that line in leviticus, I have a problem with alot of the scripture becasue again most of it has preached hate. Also how on earth these days am I supposed to take an offering of a goat, sheep, bull or cow these days. According to the bible the smell of the burning animal is pleasing to god. Just none of it makes any sense to me and I am wondering if there is any love to be read from this book. Where is the loving God, I have been told about? I certainly cannot see any love in this book so far. Just hate and the fear of god being put into man. If this is mans word and not god’s then I am afraid I have no interest in the bible. I want to learn about god’s word, I am not interested in man’s word.

I don’t even know what books to read anymore about God because I don’t know what to believe and what not to believe. It’s so confusing for a person that is new to all of this and I wish that I could just go to god, sit down with him and say right sort this out for me so I know what’s true and what isn’t. It just puts fear into me and that is not something God would want, is it? I believe in Jesus.. I believe 100% he existed and still exists. However what I don’t know is what to believe anymore.

If anyone has the same struggles I would like to hear about them cause I am certainly lost with it all.


Joined in 2008
December 10, 2010, 21:19

No one was more suprised than me to find my faith again. I knew i would never be straight……so believed I’d be destined to hell. So why torture myself I thought……and walked away. It came back. miraculously…..very simply……very profoundly….very universal….things I’d previously held as truth no longer seemed to ring true any more…….I know longer had or needed all the answers. WHAT A RELIEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is probably true for me too. I walked away from God after leaving a fundamentalist church that DID believe the bible was the literal word of truth.

I’ve only recently returned to active faith but I don’t consider myself “churchy” in that sense at all. I think our spirituality (whatever that may be) is a personal journey and something that shouldn’t be defined as black or white.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
December 10, 2010, 21:50

Hi Lee

I don’t think the bible preaches hate. It’s the way we interpret it that causes problems. We are far removed from those times and cultural contexts so it takes a fair bit of study for it to make sense in my humble opinion. What might be abhorrent to us, like the smell of a burning sacrifice, meant something very different to old testament peoples. You’ve got to remember too that ancient people thought that natural disasters signified the wrath of God. And victories in war meant that God was on their side. That doesn’t make God hateful. It’s just the way people lived and perceived things back then.

If you really want to understand the bible, why not take a bible or ancient history class? There is plenty of love in the bible. For instance I love the ‘understories’ of acceptance shown to outsiders. Even in the old testament, which goes by the old laws, there is still a dynamic fluidity that allows room for mercy as well as justice. Things aren’t as fixed and definite in Jewish law as some Christians will have us believe. For instance exceptions are made and a eunuch shown grace. In another section, widows and orphans are cared for. It’s important to understand the context things are written in rather than taking a few verses out in isolation and trying to understand on face value according to today’s standards.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2010
December 13, 2010, 16:26

Querido Familia,

Actually, a study of Bible passages in context (that is knowing the cultural norms and language devices used at the time) reveals that the Bible has no contradictions.

I mean no offense to anyone here, but the fact is the “contradictions” listed, are more a case on unfamiliarity with the text than an actual issue with the text itself.

For example, the common objections to Genesis, fail to take in to consideration that Genesis was written as a book of parables to teach lessons about free will, discipline and the the relationship between God and his children. Thus trying to see it as a LITERAL text, kind of misses the point the writers (inspired by the Holy Spirit thought they may be) were trying to make.

Another example: the so-called “Clobber Passages” that are used to hurt our LGBT brothers and sisters? Not once does any passage in the Bible refer specifically to homosexuals or homosexuality in general. The acts being decried are acts of cultic prostitution, pederasty, and sexual slavery. Acts which were being done by predominantly heterosexuals. Acts which were considered vile because they objectify human beings. This too, reveals a lack of understanding.

Remember: The Bible is a collection of many different texts. Some historical, some parabolic, some even written as poetry or song. They were written in different times and in different tongues. As such a case by case study is necessary.

It takes work but the power of the text (once understood through deep study) is truly life changing.

Yours in Christ,


Joined in 2010
December 13, 2010, 17:37

Querido Lee,

Will you permit me to take a look?

BUT from what I have read so far is that God is just full of hate, it seems that everything you do wrong you will be put to death.

Nope. An understanding of ancient near eastern law may seem to be a bit much for today’s standards but it helps here. Understand this: the earliest long-term prison we know of was made relatively recently (the 14th Century). Back then, judgments had to be swift and hard, so as to maintain order.

Now imagine yourself amongst the early Israelites. You are surrounded by enemies. All of which want to kill you and take your stuff. You are a people forever on the move and unwelcome where ever you go. Not to mention the fact that you are vastly outnumbered. The last thing you need, is to be fighting amongst yourselves. So if there is a crime, it is dealt with quickly and with minimal bloodshed.

No take at the crimes listed in the Torah. Notice anything? All the crimes which merit a death sentence are crimes involving treason, murder, assault, rape, and grand theft (which is also considered treasonous). It isn’t “everything you do”, but rather only the things that could put the whole tribe and the few outside allies they have in jeopardy.

Even then, ALL accused parties (under Israelite law) were given an opportunity to prove their innocence in a court and even if found guilty, they would be spared punishment and they would be allowed to go on with their existence if they simply admitted their wrong and made restitution to those they hurt. The sole exception to this was willful murder (since there is no price on a life). Repeat offenders or those caught making multiple offenses at once would be treated more harshly.

In reality, the Biblical laws were far more just (and arguably far, FAR more lenient) than any legal codex existing at the time.

The passage from Leviticus? Two words you need to bear in mind: Ish and Zakhar. Both refer to males, but only “Ish” refers to males in general (ALL men). Zakhar refers to males set aside for religious purposes (IE Priests). The command is against taking up a practice of the Isrealite’s neighbors, the prostitution of temple priests, which was (along with being an objectification of a person into a sex object, which is a big no-no) seen as treachery because they had adopted a practice associated with foreign powers and their strange gods.

Despite what some of our misguided brethren might say, this passage was NOT a condemnation of homosexuals or homosexuality in general.

I have a problem with alot of the scripture becasue again most of it has preached hate.

But that’s the thing: it doesn’t. There is no preaching of hate in the text. If you would specify a passage, I would gladly explain the context and clear things up for you.

See, the Bible is a tragic love story. God so loved his people that he suffered with them, forgave them when they turned on him, and when the time came he even bled for them upon a cross, being mocked and spat upon by those who he had healed and held so closely. Yet, the people did not love him back. But he still came for them, and he still calls out to them, to us. Just as he did in Egypt, Canaan, Jerusalem, and places long forgotten by time. He still does.

That is the God of whom Scripture speaks: a loving father reaching out to his children.

Also how on earth these days am I supposed to take an offering of a goat, sheep, bull or cow these days. According to the bible the smell of the burning animal is pleasing to god.

I’m afraid that, much like the early Isrealites, you’ve missed the point. God didn’t care about the sacrifices themselves. As with given any gift, it was the thought that counted.

As we see in Amos 5:22 the people tried to “buy” God off with sacrifices…and the big guy was not pleased:

“Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them.”

Isaiah 1:11:

“The multitude of your sacrifices–what are they to me?” says the LORD. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.”

Jeremiah 6:20:

“What do I care about incense from Sheba or sweet calamus from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please me.”

What happened? Why wasn’t God happy about the sacrifices? Because the point was lost. It isn’t about giving up something physical. It’s about showing your love. It’s about being righteous and being a just, morally upright person. To God, the only gift worthy of him is love and justice.

As we read in 1 Samuel 15:22:

“But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”

As such, a person who serves the poor, feeds the hungry, protects the innocent, and loves his neighbor, gives the one sacrifice that God wanted all along. No beef or veal needed!

See? A simple reading of the text as a whole, would’ve cleared that misgiving right up!

If anyone has the same struggles I would like to hear about them cause I am certainly lost with it all.

To read the Bible is to struggle. The book wasn’t meant to be read as-is. It was translated from multiple languages and uses literary devices that, while common to the people at the time and in the area, are alien to us. To understand the Bible’s context and message is to dedicate oneself to a path of study, meditation and discipline. It is, by no means, easy. I spent years studying it and the works of great minds in philosophy before I converted to Christianity and I am just a fresh faced novice in the grand scheme of things.

My recommendation is this: get a Biblical commentary series (I recommend starting with the O.T and move book by book) and really study the translation notes.

I, of course, will be glad to help. Just ask me any question, Lee and I’ll try my best.

Yours is a struggle that we all go through, Lee. But there are answers where you least expect them.

Yours in Christ,


Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
December 13, 2010, 21:47

Hi Raul

This is really excellent. Thanks so much for your detailed answer. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. 🙂 🙂 🙂

I couldn’t agree more that bible verses need to be read in context with other scripture. And like you say, there also needs to be a study of orignal language and cultural customs in order to get close to what was meant in ancient times.

Raul, we are very fortunate to have you with us.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2007
December 14, 2010, 00:34


Thanks so much for sharing your insight with us on these passages from the Bible. I really enjoyed reading your explanations.

Blessings to you,

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